Mulberry Heart Disease


Causal agent

Vitamin E/ Selenium deficiency

Age group

Post weaning, normally about 15-30 kg.

Clinical signs


Sudden death.  Generally the best pig(s) in the group. 

No other clinical signs.


Not infective to other pigs

Post-mortem Lesions

Mullberry heart

Large amounts of fluid around the heart and lung

Haemorrhage and pale areas in heart muscle

Fluid in the abdomen with pieces of fibrin

Pale muscle areas in the leg and back

The liver may be enlarged and mottled with areas of haemorrhage and possible rupture


Post mortem findings

Histological examination of the liver, heart or damaged muscle

Serum samples may be difficult to interpretate


Affected group

Inject with 70 IU Vit E.  May need selenium, note selenium can be very toxic

While Vit E is a fat vitamin Water soluble preparations are available

Increase Vit E in the feed to 150 mg (iu)/kg.  Note in start up units it may be advisable to provide 250 mg (iu)/kg from 10-18 kg in weight


Review Vit E concentrations in the feed

Check environment, remove stress factors

Examine for Glässer’s disease

Review feed storage, Vit E may be destroyed by high moisture and mycotoxins

Review genetic and breeding stock

Common differentials

Glässer’s Disease, Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia, Oedema disease and Streptococcal septicaemias

Zoonotic implications